This is helpful if you've a network involving a Windows host that you want to be able to resolve the hostname of your Linux hosts.

For Debian based distros, Ubuntu etc:

apt-get install libnss-winbind winbind samba

Then to enable make an edit to /etc/nsswitch.conf to change the hosts section from

hosts:          files dns


hosts:          files dns wins

You may need 'samba' to get the nmbd to replay to NetBIOS requests